Before the West was settled there were no wagon trails or highways crisscrossing the sagebrush flats. There was no barbed wire; buffalo and antelope had no need for fences. There were no buildings; just buttes and bluffs rising from the ground to tower over the desert, soft colors and sparse growth of the high plains.
Entertwined with the open beauty, there was danger. A solitary traveler could get himself into trouble. There were natural dangers; extreme cold, arid heat, large animals and small serpents. There were also fellow men who did not always extend a hand of friendship; the kind of company that was unpredictable. Sometimes the most friendly thing to do was avoid the company of unpredictable people.
There were many times, unrecorded in history, when the only company a traveler could want were his mules and the pale light of the desert stars